Shiffrin crowned ‘Snow Queen’ with World Cup slalom win

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Mikaela Shiffrin remained undefeated in slalom on the World Cup this season by winning her fifth slalom race in Croatia’s capital of Zagreb. For the win, Shiffrin was awarded the Snow Queen Trophy for the fourth time in her career.

Rounding out the podium with Shiffrin was Petra Vlhova of Slovakia in second and Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener in third. Full results are here.

Shiffrin pumped her fists in excitement after crossing the finish line to take the lead after her first of two slalom runs. The last time Shiffrin crossed a slalom finish line she broke two World Cup Alpine records, and yet, in Zagreb, her post-run reactions were slightly more effusive.

A self-deprecating Shiffrin joked about her lack of emotion at the finish line in a call with the media after her multiple record-setting day in Austria, saying the fact is she experiences too many emotions all at once at the finish.

Multiple thoughts of varying importance flood Shiffrin’s mind, everything from the significant, “Did I make all the gates?” to the somewhat mundane, “Where is the scoreboard?”

“I think a lot of people think that I’m mad or emotionless, or i just don’t care when I come through the finish,” Shiffrin said. “And that’s not it at all.

“It’s certainly not emotionless, it’s emotion-full.”

In both her first and second run in Zagreb, Shiffrin relentlessly accelerated down the course, mining speed as she attacked the gates. Where other racers struggled, Shiffrin was able to capitalize on the many icy, hockey rink-like transitions en route to the finish.

“The surface was perfect so it was easy to be aggressive,” Shiffrin said after the win.

The first place finish also helped Shiffrin hold on to the top position on the leaderboard for slalom and overall World Cup points.

The women’s World Cup tour returns to Austria on January 8 for another slalom event in Flachau, before heading to St. Anton for downhill and Super-G racing on January 12 and 13. Stream all the events on NBC Sports Gold.

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IOC pledges €500,000 to help restore Notre Dame ahead of 2024 Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee plans to donate €500,000 ($562,000) to the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral in the 2024 Olympic host city.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he wants to see Notre Dame restored within five years.

“The aim of completing the reconstruction in time for Paris 2024 will be an extra motivation for all of us,” IOC president Thomas Bach wrote in a Wednesday letter to Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet, according to a translation by Agence France-Presse, which reported Notre Dame is on the planned marathon and road cycling routes. “All the Olympic Movement and in particular the IOC have been extremely touched by the instantaneous connection the French have made between Notre Dame cathedral and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

More than $500 million has been pledged overall from around the globe after a fire ravaged the 850-year-old cathedral on Monday.

NBC News has more on the Notre Dame fire here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Patrick Kane joined by NHL All-Stars on world championship roster

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NHL All-Stars Jack EichelRyan Suter and Cory Schneider join previously named captain Patrick Kane to lead the U.S. at next month’s world hockey championship in Slovakia, seeking the nation’s first title at a standalone worlds since 1933.

Sixteen players were added to the roster in Thursday’s announcement with more to come before worlds open May 10 and more teams get eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, making more players available. The IIHF allows up to 25 players per nation.

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill will be the U.S. head coach for a third straight worlds. The Americans lost in the quarterfinals in 2017 and earned bronze in 2018, sandwiching an Olympic quarterfinal exit in PyeongChang without NHL players.

Sweden is trying to become the first nation to three-peat at worlds since the Czech Republic in 2001.

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Preliminary IIHF World Championship Roster
Forwards

Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks)
Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres)
Luke Glendening (Detroit Red Wings)
Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes)
Chris Kreider (New York Rangers)
Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings)
James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia Flyers)
Frank Vatrano (Florida Panthers)
Colin White (Ottawa Senators)

Defensemen
Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks)
Alec Martinez (Los Angeles Kings)
Brady Skjei (New York Rangers)
Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild)

Goalies
Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks)
Cayden Primeau (Laval (AHL))
Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils)